It is an absolute pleasure to introduce a new member of the Just One Body athlete team - Marina Ranger
Marina, simply put, is an absolute machine of a human being taking on every challenge fully focused, allowing her to compete at a level many people don’t get near. Marina has competed in over 20 ultra-marathons, two half Ironman’s, two full Ironman’s and one long distance triathlon where she represented team GB. However, one of the main reasons we have asked her to join our team of athletes is the never-ending smile that remains despite the pain, the lack of sleep and competing in some of the toughest terrains on the planet.
How did you get into running?
I entered a competition at work to win a place in the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon, a 250K multi stage, self-sufficient ultra-marathon in the Kalahari Desert. I had to raise £2,000 for charity and prove that I was fit enough so I started running. I did my first marathon and won the place to take part 10 months later. I ran the whole race with my boss and from then on I was hooked!
Who or what inspires me through those miles?
Lots of things. I always think about my family and friends who know what I am doing and always support me. Doing them proud makes me happy. I also think about those that aren’t as fortunate as myself, people living now and people that have lived through harder times in the past. Knowing that people have been through so much worse, stops me feeling sorry for myself and keeps me going. Lastly, I think about all of the hard work that I have committed to in the months leading up to these races, all the social commitments I have had to say no to and how I need to make those sacrifices worthwhile.
What other kinds of sports or exercise do you enjoy?
I also take part in triathlons, up to full Ironman distance so I swim and cycle as well as run. Both swimming and cycling are perfect training alongside running as they are low impact and keep the training varied, which is great for motivation.
What is the toughest mental block you’ve ever faced as an ultra-runner?
Probably actually during training when everything else in life seems to get in the way and it all becomes too much to handle. The racing part is the fun bit; when I can switch off from the outside world and not worry about anything else other than getting through the race.
Are there any particular people you read about to help your training and keep you focused?
I follow a lot of the pro’s online, particularly the world leaders such as Lucy Charles and Daniela Ryf in Ironman and in ultra running, the mountain champs like Emilie Forsberg and Kilian Jornet for general inspiration and tips picking but most of my focus and learning comes from my coach Sophie Bubb who gives me the structure and guidance I need to keep on track and work towards my goals.
How do you get through it?
So there you have it. Thanks Marina! Looking forward to working out any kinks with all that training!
You can imagine we may have our work cut out for us with Marina. You'd be surprised though... she is able to balance the amount of training to ensure her body doesn't become too stiff or over-trained. Pro tip - Get a coach